Author: Eugene Kenney

Fireplaces: Security Tips

In the construction and maintenance of fireplaces, manufacturers or builders must follow the instructions and use appropriate materials. Especially in the distances to combustible materials.


Insulation Of The Chimney

The chimney must be isolated or sufficiently separated from materials or near combustible elements. It is necessary to realize when the duct passes roofs, false ceilings or roofs next to wood, parquet, wooden structures, plastic and synthetic materials that can be burned.

The combustible elements, at a distance

The walls, the ceiling and the floor next to the fireplace must not be and must not contain combustible material: paper, wood, carpets, carpet, parquet …

The anti-wind and windproof hats

Els Chimney hats must be antivent. The windshields (those that wind up with the wind), in the event of fire, they can extend the flames to the roof of the building.


What should not be burned

– Flammable liquids to light or fire the fire

– Green or wood lumber or wood (ideal for the tree to have been cut off the previous season) or resinous because it can produce soot deposits and take it to the fireplace

– Treated wood, because it can release toxic products

– Other types of fuel not determined by the manufacturer

A living fire without too much firewood

Fire must be alive, but without too much firewood, so that it has a good run. In this way we will avoid the production of toxic products and the accumulation in the soot of tar and soot that can end up burning down.

What should not be near the fire

We do not have to approach the fireplace for clothes, toys, furniture or pillows … We have to keep the firewood reserve in the right place, where it can not be switched on (we must follow the indications of the manufacturer of the fireplace).

Open fireplaces

We recommend not having the fireplace lit when we go to sleep or leave home. If it stays on, we have to place a screen mataguspires. We should not leave the girl alone with the fireplace.


It is very important that the room or room where the fireplace is located has adequate ventilation. We will avoid throttle problems in the chimney, the concentration of toxic gases, especially carbon monoxide, and bad smell.



We must be able to check, clean, drain the ducts and recover the sound, which could end up burning or damaging the ducts, following the instructions of the manufacturer. At least, one must be done per season in case of habitual use of the fireplace. Proper utensils and brushes are required and cleaning chemicals that are not recommended by the manufacturer should not be used.

The chimney, that does not lose smoke

The chimney should not have any hole. Smoke is toxic and, in addition, the hole can be finished by firing on combustible materials that are near the conduit.

The home does not light for a long time

If several times we have not turned on the fireplace, we will have to check it for specialized personnel and determine that there is no obstruction or exhaust in the conduit.

Fire protection

If we want to increase our safety, we can install a fire detector and carbon monoxide, and have a portable fire extinguisher in case of fire. You need to know how to use the extinguisher in this case.

Protect Us With Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are electronic devices that, if there is a smoke in the area where they are installed, emit an acoustic alarm that warns the occupants of the home.

The simplest are very easy to install. They do not require any work or connection to the electrical installation, since its power supply is a battery.

There are also domestic smoke detectors that are connected to the electrical network.

In this case, the installation must be done by a professional.

Why are they recommended?

A fire, in its initial phase, can develop very quickly and affect a whole room or the whole home. But the main danger in case of fire is smoke. These devices warn us acoustically of the presence of smoke at a very early stage of the fire, so that they allow us to act to prevent it from being developed or, if necessary, evacuate the floor in safe conditions, closing all doors, and Warn the firemen as quickly as possible.

Where can we buy them?

In any hardware store, department stores or web stores.

Where do we have to install them?

We always have to follow the instructions of the manufacturer of the device. The detectors must be installed on the ceiling, not on the walls, as centered as possible on the unit that we are protecting, and always more than 15 cm from the walls.

Since the most critical moment in case of fire is during the night, when we are sleeping, and we do not have the capacity to realize that something is being burned home, the most appropriate place to install it is In the corridor or distributor that gives access to the rooms. The attached drawing shows an example of the priority location of the detectors on a floor.

If we get used to sleep with the door of the room closed, especially if we have heating appliances, it is also highly recommended to install detectors inside the bedroom.

Situation of smoke detectors

Where do not we have to install them?

Unless the manufacturer specifies the opposite in the instructions of the device, we must avoid installing autonomous smoke detectors on the roof of the kitchen or the bathroom, since the water vapor or the smoke of the kitchen causes many false alarms.

On the other hand, we must also avoid placing the detectors above or very close to heaters, ventilators, air conditioners, windows or ventilation ducts, since the movements of the air and the sudden differences The temperature in these points can cause the detector to not work properly or interfere with the natural movement of smoke from a possible fire in its initial phase.

Required maintenance

The maintenance actions of the autonomous detectors are very simple:

Verify periodically the correct operation of the acoustic warning by pressing the test button. This will sound the alarm in the same way that if there were smoke.

Change the battery whenever necessary, and at least once a year.

Any other action specified by the manufacturer.